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In the cold light of day, the emergency services count the bodies and assess the damage in the village. Did Betty get out alive? Victoria Cottage was at the centre of the inferno; does that mean Chas, Katie and Gennie didn’t stand a chance of surviving? Terry and Brenda were desperate to escape the inferno, but did they manage to? And was Viv too busy drowning her sorrows to realise the danger she was in?

The police and fire officials quickly establish that this tragedy was no accident and that they’re looking for an arsonist and a murderer. The villagers are shocked to discover that the fire was deliberate. Who would do such a thing? That becomes the hot subject of debate and the remaining residents discuss who they think is to blame for Emmerdale’s horrific start to 2011…

Marlon is devastated by the tragedy; he’s seen so much death in Emmerdale, including his own wife Tricia (killed during a terrible storm on New Year’s Eve 2003). He goes to talk to Rhona and Paddy and takes comfort in their friendship. All three agree that life is precious and they look forward to the birth of their baby.

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